White Paper on Nuclear Energy in Jordan

 Full Report - PDF File  النسخة العربية

Executive Summary

·   Jordan is expressing interest in nuclear power given the energy, water and economic challenges the country is facing.“Nuclear energy is a safe, reliable and economically proven energy generation technology” that is considered by JAEC to be a way to meet these challenges

·   Jordan is pursuing a nuclear energy program which includes a nuclear power plant planned to come online in 2020. The program is expected to have a number of direct and indirect benefits including economic output and employment

·   Efforts have been made to advance the implementation of the nuclear energy program taking into account required safety and security measures

Key Findings

Overview of National Challenges

·   Jordan is facing a number of challenges

o   Need for electricity: the gap between electricity demand and the available capacity is expected to widen as electricity consumption increases. Although there are planned power plants, these will provide temporary relief. A longer term solution is necessary  

o   Need for water: the current water deficit demonstrates the urgency of establishing a secure and sustainable source of inexpensive energy

o   Need to support major infrastructure projects: a number of mega-projects are underway and require stable and secure sources of electrical energy

o   Agricultural production: natural resources for agricultural production are limited thus there is a need to resort to food imports. The country is focusing on more value-added crops and the utilization of new technology to increase crop yields on available land

·   The challenges demonstrate the growing need for electrical power in Jordan. Nuclear power is viewed as a way to satisfy future electricity demand. “Nuclear power ensures safe and stable electricity production at a reasonable and competitive price”, while providing independence from fossil fuels and associated price fluctuations in addition to generating zero carbon emissions

 Efforts towards Nuclear Energy

·   A pre-feasibility study conducted for constructing a nuclear power plant in Jordan recommends a diversified energy strategy with a continuously evolving energy mix that gets optimized along the way. A range of additional benefits provided by nuclear power are identified and include

o   Strategic energy independence and reduction in volatility of electricity production cost

o   Utilization of national natural resources such as uranium

o   Water desalination made available once a large source of electricity is online

o   Reduction of pollution and COemissions

·   The primary benefit of nuclear power plants will be the availability of a new, reliable and zero-emission energy source at a reasonable and stable cost

·   The construction of a nuclear power plant in Jordan will have direct, indirect and induced effects on economic output, employment, and labor income, and will reduce Jordan’s exposure to high oil prices and reduce both inflation and the current account deficit during both the construction and operation periods

o   Total capital expenditure during construction is expected to reach $8.4 billion

o   2,205 jobs are expected to be created directly, in addition to 5,448 jobs created indirectly

o   Annual GDP is expected to increase during the construction phase

o   Impact on labor income is expected to reach $1.9 billion for the whole eight year construction period

o   Total effect on tax revenues is expected to reach $526 million for the construction period  

·   Jordan has been a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 1966 and has been cooperating closely with the agency to prepare for the comprehensive civilian nuclear energy program that it is currently pursuing.The program includes plans for extracting natural uranium, developing human resources and constructing research facilities

·   The civilian nuclear energy program upholds the highest standards of safety, security, non-proliferation and operational transparency as indicated by the signature and ratification of a number of relevant treaties. The IAEA is also involved in the development of Jordan’s nuclear regulatory infrastructure.The program upholds high standards for accompanying activities including nuclear fuel and radioactive waste management

·   Jordan plans to assess the accident in Japan and its impacts on the Jordanian nuclear energy program

·   A key aim of the program is to serve as a role model in the region for the safe use of nuclear power and transparent implementation

Recommended Actions/Responsibilities

Next steps in the program include:

·   Review and ensure appropriate siting criteria such as safety and security

·   Re-affirm the commitment to advanced reactor technology which would not suffer the types of failure that occurred in Japan

·   Carefully develop modern operator accident mitigation strategies

·   Continue close cooperation with the IAEA and adhere to evolving international safety standards


Report Name



White Paper on Nuclear Energy in Jordan

September 2011

Not available


Supporting Donor

Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC)

Worley Parsons resources and energy



Lead Ministry

Energy Security

Not available

Key Topics

Agricultural Products –Direct Impact – Electricity – Employment – Indirect Impact – Induced Impact – Nuclear Energy program – Regulatory Framework – Safety and Security Standards – Transparency – Water


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